Obama’s new EPA rules carry $9.6 billion price tag

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The Obama administration on Wednesday unveiled the first-ever standards to slash mercury emissions from coal-fired plants, a move aimed at protecting public health that critics say will kill jobs as plants shut down. …

The [EPA] rules will cost utilities about $9.6 billion annually.

Scott Segal, a lobbyist at Bracewell & Giuliani, said the rules will result in the loss of more than 1.4 million jobs by 2020 as utilities are forced to shut old coal-fired power plants. Read the original article at Reuters

U.S. could top Saudis, Russia as world’s top energy producer
It may surprise Americans who’ve lived through many years of dependence on foreign fuels, but in less than a decade the United States could pass its 1970s peak as an oil and natural gas producer. Read more…

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BILL SIEGEL: IF OSAMA BIN LADEN COULD TALK   “Go ask Osama bin Laden” has become the latest rally call for part of Barack Obama’s re-invented self. During the 2008 election, campaigning on a tough national security footing was too inconsistent with the liberal, anti-war, anti-Bush themes of “change” and “working with the international community.” In 2012, however, with little record to […]


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The killing of Osama Bin Laden in May brought a sense of resolution to Americans, but a ruling by a federal judge shows justice has not been delivered. In a decision that should forever change the story of 9/11 and the West’s Middle East policy, Judge George Daniels has just ruled that Iran and Hezbollah are responsible for 9/11.

Judge Daniels concluded that 9/11 happened because of Iran and Hezbollah’s direct support for the plotters, especially the hijackers, and probably would not have happened without it. The evidence presented in court goes even further, strongly indicating that 9/11 was a joint operation between Al-Qaeda and the Iranian regime. It took over 10 years after 9/11 for Iran’s covert involvement to be exposed, a frightening testament to the ineptitude of our intelligence community and the experts who assured us that Iran would never work with Bin Laden’s terrorist group or directly target the U.S.

Eight law firms acting under the leadership of Thomas E. Mellon presented reams of publicly-available information and over 25 hours of testimony from three Iranian intelligence defectors, whose accounts were deemed credible by Judge Daniels. The three defectors provided first-hand information to prove the culpability of Iran and Hezbollah.


The Torch Has Been Passed to a New Generation

In Egypt, the short version of the Arab Spring is that after 60 years the Nasser/Mubarak military has decided to throw its lot in with the Muslim Brotherhood. Given that for three decades the army was largely funded and its senior officers trained by the United States, at least we won’t have to waste a lot of time on “Who lost Egypt?” analyses.

The consequences for Copts, women, Israeli Embassy staff, etc, have been clear for some time. But just as important over the long run may be the loss of historical memory. A few days ago, during the recent military crackdown, the Institut d’Egypte was burned to the ground — mainly because young soldiers either joined in the gleeful savagery or declined to prevent it. Millions of manuscripts were lost.

This blogger (politically correct enough to use the terms “BCE” and “CE” rather than “BC and “AD”) compares it to the destruction of the Library of Alexandria. But I’d put it in the context of the Muslim world’s more recent retreat into ignorance represented by the Brotherhood, the Wahhabists, the Ayatollahs et al. The famous statistic from a 2002 UN report — that more books are translated into Spanish in a single year than have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand — suggests at the very minimum an extraordinarily closed society. Such openness to the world as exists was (as at the Institut d’Egypt) facilitated by the West. The journey from, say, Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet, set in the ramshackle but pluralistic Egypt of Farouk’s day, to the city in recent years is a descent into ever more malign parochialism.

If you’re going to turn your country into a squat of theocratic totalitarianism, a stupid population is indispensable. Washington’s most basic problem in Afghanistan, for example, is that most of its upcountry villagers are too ill educated even to be aware of the existence of countries such as the United States. When, after 9/11, a bunch of guys in the full Robocop showed up and started blowing stuff up, your average rural Pushtun simply had no more idea who they were or where they came from than the Americans vis a vis the space aliens in Independence Day.

Egypt is now falling into the hands of men who revel in Taliban-scale parochial stupidity and are bent on imposing it. From 1922 to 2011, the country got worse. It’s now getting worser.


The Justice Department Condones Perjury … Again Posted By Hans A. von Spakovsky

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A career employee in the Voting Section of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has confessed to committing perjury, sources say. The employee, Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi, reportedly told investigators from the Inspector General’s Office that she perjured herself during an inquiry into Justice Department leaks during the previous administration. Despite the admission, she has not been fired for criminal malfeasance. Indeed, it appears she has not been disciplined in any meaningful way at all.


Recently Jews in synagogues around the world heard an ancient prophesy about a time of tribulation for the Christians. In the haftarah, the Prophet Obadiah hears G-d warning the Edomites (traditionally a Jewish term for the people who eventually made up the Christian world): “Behold on that day… Your mighty ones to the South will be broken… every man will be cut off by the slaughter…”

How eerily reflective of the moment: Within just the last couple of weeks, the Washington-based Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a “Genocide Warning” for Christians and other religious minorities across the Middle East, and launched a petition urging President Barack Obama to speak up.


On his blog Israel Matsav has posted a video (hat tip: reader Shirlee) of an Arab vandal caught red-handed uprooting and destroying a tombstone in the Jewish cemetery on Har HaZeitim, the Mount of Olives, the most ancient burial ground in the world that is still in use, and of course one in which scores of renowned sages repose. (The tomb of the prophet Zachariah can be seen in this photograph, right foreground.) As Israel Matsav’s blog notes, the vandal (who received a three-month gaol sentence) had been paid to carry out the task of desecration, and the incident is by no means isolated; even mourners are sometimes physically attacked.

Hooliganism on Har HaZeitim was rampant during the Jordanian occupation of the Old City from 1948-67. And what’s more, it was state-sponsored.


In almost every corner of the world, there’s a Greenpeace activist working to limit food production, stop energy development or bullying a sovereign nation to stifle economic development in favour of their ideological goals.

To boot, government officials, most recently William Hague, erroneously call the group’s radical forestry work “important,” a strange description for a group constantly mired in criminal activities. One must find it curious that the Cameron government would be supportive of such a hostile organization.

For a long time their often criminal campaign stunts have drawn substantial media attention, but, unfortunately, little resistance.


The FAO-EC report fails to see the wood for the trees as the climate change argument unravels a little more

Another grand bargain not only failed to materialise but in Durban’s aftermath, Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Treaty claiming that the moribund agreement had failed to “represent a way forward.”

Canada’s (and Japan’s) actions have rightly bundled the Kyoto Protocol into the morgue, the coroner probing and dissecting to find the cause of death: Kyoto choked on hyperbole and a lack of direction.

Not only was the agreement detrimental to economic growth (read: Miss me Yet?), but also recent – and largely unreported – information highlighted just how fatuous this entire ‘green scare’ is.

Much of the discussion surrounding climate change mitigation is focused on reducing deforestation as a means of reducing emissions. Thanks to satellite technology, a report issued by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and the European Commission was set to uncover just how urgent the situation was just days before Durban Summit, creating yet more alarmist rhetoric in order to compel global leaders to sign a binding deal.

The facts, however, revealed otherwise. The report served to show that both organisations have been using such fatally flawed data that they overestimated global deforestation by a whopping 32 percent.

The overriding assumption, supported most notably by Lord Stern (we don’t link to the Grauniad), has always been that large scale deforestation has been the primary contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The fact that the FAO and EC have been hoist with their own petard is a delicious irony not lost on us.

Global deforestation is occurring, but at an annual rate of 0.07 percent—a level surely tolerable for countries currently on the path towards industrialization. One of the most damning aspects of the FAO-EC report is that all the green initiatives put in place to help prevent deforestation in the developing world have been shown to be nothing but a sham.

What’s more, Britain is donating vast sums for conservation efforts to address a problem that actually doesn’t exist.

The developing world has repeatedly been cajoled into supporting schemes such as the United Nations’ Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD). In short, REDD is an egregious con perpetuated by global institutions, hampering growth in the developing world and sucking Western taxpayers dry.